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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

While many tech companies have pulled out of an in-person presence this year, the CES show is going on, with thousands of companies still exhibiting and others shifting to an online-only approach to deliver their new products and announcements.

The big picture: The pandemic has been a huge challenge for product launch events, but a boon to demand for consumer electronics for both work and play. Here's the latest from CES — check back all week for more from the Axios tech team.

Here's what's happened so far:

Wednesday, Jan. 5
  • Amazon announced several bits of Alexa and Ring news. Most notably, Alexa is going to space as part of an experimental payload on a NASA Orion mission this spring. Cisco's Webex is also part of the project, spearheaded by Lockheed Martin.
  • Google unveiled some new Android features designed to make its products, such as a phone and watch, work better together. As The Verge points out, it's facing an uphill battle competing with Apple on that front, given the iPhone maker's tight control of its own hardware and software ecosystem.
Tuesday, Jan. 4
Monday, Jan. 3
  • Big TVs are always a highlight of CES, and so far the size crown goes to LG, which showed off a 92-inch OLED TV, the biggest such screen to date, as CNET reports.
  • Bathroom tech typically gets less attention at the show, but that doesn't mean no attention. Moen has a gesture-controlled, hands-free faucet, while Kohler has a new, $8,000 voice-controlled tub. L'Oreal, meanwhile, has a gadget to automate coloring your hair at home.
  • Samsung introduced a lower-cost version of its Galaxy S21, the Galaxy S21 FE (short for Fan Edition).
  • Mercedes-Benz introduced an electric concept car, the EQXX, that it claims can go 620 miles on a single charge — more than a Toyota Prius hybrid can travel on a full tank of gas, CNN points out. If true, it would be a breakthrough in battery efficiency.
Sunday, Jan. 2

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 7, 2022 - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

CES 2022 brought pieces of the metaverse into view

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The grand metaverse that tech enthusiasts talked up last year remains a distant goal for the industry, but this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showed off a few of its building blocks as they begin to materialize.

Why it matters: The full vision of a shared, 3D digital dimension a la "Ready Player One" is probably still a decade away — but it won't arrive out of nowhere in one piece. Instead, it will show up in bits and chunks, clunky and disjointed, before coalescing into something both functional and useful.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton's wild ride and possible buyers

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Peloton is having a bumpy ride, and has become a source of fascination among even those who've never invested or clipped in.

Driving the news: On Monday, a hedge fund with less than a 5% stake in Peloton called for CEO John Foley to be fired and for the connected fitness company to consider seeking a strategic buyer. Shares gained nearly 10% on the news, but remained down 16.2% for the year and off 80% their December 2020 peak.

Scoop: Republicans probe NBC over Beijing Olympics coverage

Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP via Getty Images

Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have sent a letter to NBC Universal executives voicing concerns about "the extent of influence the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) may have over NBCUniversal’s coverage of the games."

Why it matters: The human rights abuses committed by the CCP have been the subject of intense scrutiny ahead of this year's Winter Games in Beijing. Activists last year sent a letter to NBC executives urging the network to cancel plans to cover the Olympics.

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